You’ve probably read all the stats claiming that customer acquisition is somewhere between five and 25 times more expensive than customer retention. Besides, your existing customers are 50% more likely to try your new products and spend 31% more than the new ones. But, all this doesn’t imply that customer retention should be your only …
According to the most recent Doing Business Rankings published annually by the World Bank, Ireland is the 18th most business-friendly country in the world. When we are talking only starting a business, things look even better for Ireland as it finds itself in the tenth place. And while starting a business in Ireland is easier …
80% of a company’s future profits come from just 20% of its existing customers is one of the stats frequently quoted in an attempt to illustrate the importance of customer retention, along with the fact that repeat customers spend 67% more in their third year than in their first year of doing business with a …
Have you ever seen Field of Dreams? Even if you haven’t, someone has at some point likely quoted you the line everyone seems to know from the movie: build it and they will come. And while it may have worked for Kevin Costner, the same will not likely be the case for your small business …
Attracting and keeping the attention of other businesses can be much more challenging than generating and nurturing B2C leads, but the rewards are also far greater. Not only in terms of actual conversion value, but also in terms of the reputation, authority and contacts gained with each successful collaboration. Like everything else, it gets easier …
New customers are the lifeblood of every business. And yet, many companies struggle with the acquisition process, mainly because it’s extremely tricky and expensive to identify the right leads and nurture them into becoming loyal, paying customers. Even research studies seem discouraging in this respect and show that it’s somewhere between 5 and 25 times …
Guerrilla marketing is usually associated with the B2C arena – companies surprising their potential customers with unexpected and usually very innovative messages that cost a fraction of what more traditional marketing costs. Guerrilla marketing is less common in the B2B arena and it can sometimes feel almost tame when compared to B2C guerrilla marketing, but …
Local SEO should be considered essential for any business that targets customers in a specific location. Physical businesses including stores, restaurants and dental practices that want to get found online need to focus on their local SEO efforts. Wherever you are trying to attract local customers, local SEO plays a key role in boosting your …
Imagine an accountancy practice, or professional services company, that keeps growing steadily. A company whose website keeps generating new business calls and leads every week. Right now, where does most of your new business come from? I have two main sources – referrals and Google search. For me and other businesses, the absolute best are …
The words “small business digital marketing strategy” do have a very serious ring to them, don’t they? Even a bit ominous, if you ask me. When embarking on the amazing journey of running a small business (with the hopes of one day running a large business) – you need to do a lot of prepping …
Recently a client told me that their current SEO provider was cheaper and that they had various quotes that were also cheaper than my price. So why did they engage me?
This is where all my new clients have come from during the last couple of years, so much so that I stopped even writing on my blog, almost. I think it is great that people and companies feel comfortable to recommend me – it has taken a while to get here though.
The Problems for the SEO Company
It would hurt my head to brand my company as a cheap anything. Introducing myself to people as the owner of a cheap SEO company would be tough. That aside what about the numbers?
My service cost are somewhere in the middle of my daily rate. However, I much prefer to talk to clients about their return on their investment. If they pay €500 per month for 6 months = €3,000 – how much more can they make as the result of that spend.
This reasonable pricing and good return make my life easier. I work on projects where there is enough money to do what is required and pay me well. That last bit is very important.
If I was running a low cost outfit I would be dealing with at least 100 clients per month at €100. There would be no time to talk to a client and talk through any issues. Everything would need to be low cost – crap links bought from outsourcers, no website review, no checking keywords.
Essentially I would know I was running a business that did not serve the best needs of my client and that the business was potentially hurting my client’s sites. Maybe just me, but I wouldn’t sleep too well, and I think that is the case for 90% of SEO companies.
My last point is friction. I would like happy clients, maybe that is going too far – at a minimum I want clients that are not always complaining, that can see and measure their return, I want clients that make more money as the result of my engagement. I find it impossible to see how these would be possible if you are doing a hundred crappy bookmark links and spun articles for directories.
If you are running a cheap SEO business you know you are scamming. And that is just a crap way to live.
Problems for the Buyers of Cheap Services
When looking for my current accountant I never thought to search Google for a cheap accountant. I wanted someone who was reliable, who was there at the end of the phone, someone who had a good reputation and knew what they were doing, and finally someone who would take everything off my hands and make sure I did not run into revenue penalties.
Penalties abound in Google search now. Link warning from Penguin and content penalties from Google Panda. These two alone can have your site drop to the depths of search results never to be seen again.
Google penalties are notoriously difficult to get out of. Once a site has been hit by one penalty it appears to be more vulnerable to Google updates in the future – and as Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team has said – you might be better starting a new site than trying to get out of the penalty.
Low-cost spam links can look like they are helping your rankings in the beginning. Your site shoots up the rankings, you get into the second page, sometimes even the first – then bam. Just as it reaches the high it suddenly drops. Your rankings disappear your current traffic and potential traffic evaporates.
If you are building a business that depends on the internet you are bust.
But, I have to ask, what were you expecting? Did you think you had found a way of gaming the system – that all those other SEO companies were just ballocks trying to rip you off with high prices?
If you are using cheap optimisation or link building services do a search for your company name. What do you see? Only your own website, good high-quality citations or rubbish written by someone who doesn’t care.
My last point here: I have a friend who runs a service business, they complain a lot about the costs of the services they consume while at the same time charging clients for a premium service. The low-cost services they consume distract from his business mainly his time. It just doesn’t make sense.
Cheap vs Not
In SEO you don’t always get what you pay for, many can testify to that fact, (better you learn some SEO). Clients ask me for higher rankings, better-qualified traffic, better conversions, tracking of key word conversions – this all takes time. Surprisingly most clients don’t ask me for keyword research believing they already know the keywords. However I provide this anyway whether asked for or not, I couldn’t reasonably take someone’s money without checking the foundations of their online plan.
I have one client that has been a constant client for the last 4+ years, they are in an ultra-competitive niche. However, most small business SEO clients end up with a plan that lasts between 3 and 9 months. The recent client mentioned at the top has been paying for optimisation for the last 3 years and sees little if any return.
Although I am more expensive each month I cost much less in the longer term. I don’t bleed clients with forever services, so far no clients have had a Google penalty. I want clients to see the results and come back to me every year or two when they run into any issues. I want to train them to look after their own content and just get on with running their own business.
Your money, your choice – any thoughts?
The ecommerce world is a dog eat dog one. With consumers being presented with thousands of potential results for their search queries, the competitive landscape is fierce. In order to get the top spots on Google and succeed as an ecommerce business, you need to get surgical when it comes to understanding your audience and …